By MARY RAINWATER
The current deluge of rain has been on the minds of commissioners as Precinct 2 Commissioner Rashad Q. Mims I reported during Monday's commissioners court meeting that a bridge had completely washed out in his precinct, but had been repaired and is passable for the residents affected.
According to Mims, the incident occurred at about 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, with a group of hunters traveling across a bridge on Anderson County Road 2933 reporting that the bridge had “crumbled down” behind them.
“We worked all day and by 10 p.m. the bridge was passable,” Mims said. “There were about 25 homeowners and multiple land owners affected by the washout.”
The two-lane bridge has been reduced to one lane by the wash out, with cones and signs directing travelers about its use being “one way in and one way out,” Mims reporting, adding that large oil-field trucks would not be able to cross.
“I want to thank my fellow commissioners for offering their assistance and materials in helping to get the bridge repaired,” he said.
Also during the meeting, District Attorney Doug Lowe presented a report about the work in his department, stating that year-to-date, the department has seen 2,376 misdemeanor and 1,319 felony cases; has held 13 jury trials, six of which were murder trials (all with guilty verdicts) held in the first six months of 2013; has received $193,000 in hot check collections and $32,892 in bond forfeitures; and has donated $20,000 in computers and equipment to the IT department following a property seizure.
“The number of cases have at least doubled in the last six years,” Lowe said, with County Judge Robert Johnston noting that no staff increases have occurred to accommodate that increased case load.
According to Lowe, a portion of those funds accrued by the DA's office, $2,500, was donated to the Crisis Center of Anderson County who partners with the DA's office in the prosecution of sexual assault and abuse cases.
Lowe also announced a new project involving the purchase of iPads for officer to aid in obtaining warrants for DWI (Driving While Intoxicated) cases, and asked the county to consider purchasing the tablets for local judges.
“It would make communication between officers and judges easier,” Lowe said.
Also on Monday, Commissioners:
• APPROVED minutes from the Nov. 12 meeting as well as department reports, bills and budget amendments.
• APPROVED a land use agreement for Precinct 2 with land owners, allowing access to clay for road construction.
• TABLED action regarding the purchase of real property, as discussed in closed session, until a later meeting.
• TABLED awarding of bids on road construction materials for 2014 until the Dec. 9 meeting.
Mary Rainwater may be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org